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Dr Margaret Carew

Project Linguist

Indigenous languages, Media, Resource Development, Publishing


  • Name: Dr Margaret Carew
    Position: Project Linguist
    Research focus: Indigenous languages, Media, Resource Development, Publishing
    Phone: +61 8 8951 8344
    Qualifications: Doctor of Philosophy (Monash University) Master of Applied Linguistics (Monash University), Post-graduate Diploma of Education (Monash University), BA (Honours) (University of Melbourne)
    Professional memberships and associations
    Member – Australian Linguistic Society
    Member – Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
    Affiliate Member - Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • Margaret Carew has worked in the Northern Territory as a community linguist for 20 years. She undertook language research with the Gun-nartpa language group in north-central Arnhem Land in the 1990s and continues to work with a Gun-nartpa language team on language documentation and publishing projects. She has also worked on projects with language teams at Ti Tree, Utopia, Wilora, Artarre, Willowra, Yuendumu, Yuelamu and at Tennant Creek.

    She has extensive experience in adult education with Indigenous adults, having taught in both Higher Education and VET programs in the area of linguistics and Indigenous language documentation. She has also worked collaboratively with linguistic colleagues and other organisations on a range of projects.

    Maningrida Action Project
    Duration: 2017 - current

    This project is investigating sign language with teams in Maningrida, Arnhem Land Australia. It is a partnership with linguists Dr Jennifer Green at the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Murray Garde from the ANU. See:
    An-nguliny Rarrk: Stories from Mick Marrawa England
    Duration: 2017

    This project is a partnership between Maningrida Arts and Culture and the NT Language Support program through CALL at Batchelor Institute. See:
    Gun-nartpa Stories
    Duration: 2010 – 2014
    Principal Investigators: Margaret Carew (Project linguist), Crusoe Batara England, Patrick Muchana Litchfield and Raymond Walanggay England

    This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages Support Program, the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Documentation Project, and Batchelor Institute’s Internal Research Grant Program. Also supported by the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures and the NT Library Community Stories project. The project team have digitised, documented and archived recordings from the 1990s, and have produced a book entitled Gun-ngaypa Rrawa ‘My Country’, published in 2014 by Batchelor Press. See:
    Iltyem-iltyem: Central Australian Sign Languages Project
    Duration: 2011-current
    Principal Investigators: Margaret Carew (Project manager and associate linguist),

    This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages Support Program and is a partnership between Batchelor Institute, community language teams in Central Australia and linguist Dr Jennifer Green (Research Unit for Indigenous Language, University of Melbourne). The project has published an online Central Australian sign language resource – see:
    Jardiwanpa Yawulyu
    Duration: 2012-13 – current
    Principal Investigators: Margaret Carew (Project manager), Coral Napangardi Gallagher, Peggy Nampijinpa Brown, Georgia Curran and Barbara Napanangka Martin

    This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages Support Program and is a partnership between Batchelor Institute, a team of Yawulyu performers and knowledge holders at Yuendumu and anthropologist Georgia Curran (University of Sydney). A book of the songs with photographs and interpretations will be published in 2014 by Batchelor Press.
    For more projects see:


    Carew M. (2016). Represented experience in Gun-nartpa storyworlds. Narrative Inquiry, 26(2), 286-311. doi:10.1075/ni.26.2.05car’,
    Carew, M. Green, J., Kral, I., Nordlinger, R., & Singer, R. (2015). Getting in Touch: Language and Digital Inclusion in Australian Indigenous Communities.
    Language Documentation and Conservation, 9, 307-323.
    Carew, M. & Green, J. (2015) Making an online dictionary for Central Australian sign languages.
    Learning Communities – International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts (Special Edition: Indigenous Sign Language), 16 (September 2015), 40-55
    Carew, M. (2010) Anmatyerr Angkety Angkwey: Anmatyerr stories about the old days.
    Ngoonjook, Batchelor: Batchelor Press
    Woods, G. & Carew, M. (2008). Angkety kalty-anthem, angketyek kalty-irrem, anwern aparlp-ilekerr (Teaching and learning language so we don’t lose it): Own Language Work Training in Central Australia.
    In R. Amery and J. Nash (eds.) Warra Wiltaniappendi ‘Strengthening Languages’: Proceedings of the Inaugural Indigenous Languages Conference (ILC) 2007. Adelaide: University of Adelaide


    Carew, M., & Green, J. (2017). Australian Indigenous sign languages in multilingual contact zones Paper presented at the 16th International Conference on Minority Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland, August 2017.
    Carew, M. (2016). What's on the list? An evaluation strategy in Gun-nartpa discourse. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society, Monash University.
    Vaughan, J., & Carew, M. (2015). Meaning-making in Maningrida: Social factors in code-choice in a highly multilingual community. Paper presented at the The 10th International Symposium on Bilingualism, Rutgers University, New Jersey 20-24 May, 2015.
    Vaughan, J., & Carew, M. (2016). ‘New’ code-switching and long-term multilingualism at Maningrida Dimensions of a non-linear workflow for Iltyem-iltyem: a Central Australian sign language documentation project,
    (2013) Australian Linguistics Society Annual Conference, University of Melbourne
    Jurra is best: Metadata design for a range of outputs from legacy recordings,
    (2011) Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship,
    PARADISEC Conference 12-14 December 2011, University of Melbourne
    Gun-ngaypa rrawa ‘My Country’: a commitment to both-ways collaborative writing.,
    Paper presented to the 40th Anniversary Conference: Finding the common ground with Indigenous and Western Knowledge Systems.
    Batchelor Institute 7-8 August 2014


    Ingkerr anyent-antey: the Language of Batik, (Co-curator)
    (2010) Peta Appleyard Gallery, Alice Springs.
    Intem-antey anem ‘these things will always be’ exhibition of bush medicine knowledge, digital media, drypoint etchings and language, (Co-curator)
    (2008) Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
    Men of High Degree Exhibition catalogue, (with Judith Ryan)
    (1996) National Gallery of Victoria
    The Language of Weaving, (with Margie West and Andrew Hughes)
    (1995) Maningrida Arts and Culture and AETA Touring exhibition catalogue


    Antarrengeny Awely
    Duration: 2012-2013
    Principal Investigator: Margaret Carew (Project manager and film producer)

    This project documented the awely songs performed and explained by Mary Kemarr Morton and Katie Kemarr Morton from Arnkawenyerr community, Utopia Northern Territory. It resulted in a sound printed book, CD and DVD entitled Antarrengeny Awely: Alyawarr Women’s songs from Antarrengeny (author team: Mary Kemarr Morton, Katie Kemarr Morton, Dr Myfany Turpin (University of Queensland) and Alison Ross (Arnerre Community/Neutral Junction School). Published by Batchelor Press.
    Arrwekeleny Lyeteny ‘old ways and new ways’
    Duration: 2008-2009
    Principal Investigator: Margaret Carew (Joint Project Manager)

    Utopia Bush Medicine Project – an integrated Art and language educational project with Utopia community members. Funded by Batchelor Institute’s Internal Research Grant Program, and the Central Land Council’s Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Project.
    Maningrida weaving documentation project
    Duration: 1997-1998

    Maningrida Arts and Culture (oral histories, language and cultural documentation)